The Prize was awarded by Minister Tora Aasland
World Environment Day:
Rachel Carson Prize awarded on 5th June
The winner of the Rachel Carson Prize 2009, Ms. Marie-Monique Robin, was awarded the Rachel Carson Prize 2009 during a ceremony at Stavanger City Hall on Friday 5th June, World Environment Day. The prize was presented by Minister for Research and Higher Education, Ms.Tora Aasland.
14 years old Laurens Weinhold impressed the audience with his play on the violine, before the prize winner and the audience were welcomed by Deputy Mayor of Stavanger, Ms. Bjørg Tysdal Moe, and Ms. Kari Helliesen, Chair of the Board of the Rachel Carson Prize.
The following speech of Marie-Monique Robin, where she pointed at the fatal consequences of secrecy and desinformation about toxical chemicals and gene modified organisms which are forced on farmers in many parts of the world, made a strong impression on the audience, counting some 50 persons. She told about a village in India where in average 3 farmers commit suicide every day, because they are deeply indebted to the multinational company Monsanto. The company has patented their GMO crops, and thus force the farmers to buy new seedcorn every year. The plants are also genetically tailored to resist Monsanto's own pesticides, which are often spread uncritically over vast areas, causing cancer and intoxication among people of the region.
After a dialogue between Ms. Robin, the former prize winners Ms. Berit Ås and Ms. Sidsel Mørck and the audience, the prize was awarded by Minister of Research and Higher Education, Ms. Tora Aasland - directly airborne from a Parliament meeting in Oslo. - You are a courageous woman, like Rachel Carson was, and you are certainly a worthy winner of this year's prize, she said, before presenting the statuette "The Cormorant" along with a cheque to the award winner. Ms. Irma Brun Hodne, the artist who created the statuette, was among the audience, as were many environmentalists, the French consul and persons from the French community in Stavanger.